27 December 2015

Well it's Christmas time, pretty baby 25/12/2015

Last minute Christmas shopping, and Lewie has found a friend. 

There is no use crying over spilt milk... But a smashed 1L container of yoghurt all over the walls, fridge, floor, cupboards, Lewie and myself? Boo hoo hoo hoo...

Josh and Lew watching the fish together at a Vietnamese restaurant in Pulheim.

Josh's kindergarten concert. Josh stayed close to Carol's (the dance teacher) side for the whole performance. Even when she was in the middle and all the other kids formed a circle around them. He was so proud of himself, and so was I! This is the reception class, made up of children from different rooms that are all in their final year of kindergarten. Josh's room (the Penguins) also did a performance, in German. Josh chose not to have a speaking part, but knew it all and told us later of course :)

Christmas is cancelled. We have a box!

Final Christmas market in Köln. Well, there was one more, but we don't have any pictures to show and it was quite traumatic (they ran out of Reibekuchen!), so we won't speak of that again. We finally tried some Backfisch this time, and while it was not the same as good ol' Friday night Fish n Chips back home, it was pretty tasty!

Yes, this is an appropriate amount of sauce for my piece of fish!

Exploring two of the local playgrounds in Widdersdorf (to work off some of those Christmas carbs).

Christmas Eve: new PJs from Mum and Dad, and new books from Nanny and Bubba! 

Traditional food for Santa and his reindeer, but this time the German beer was actually bought IN Germany!
Translation: "Dear Santa, it pleases us that you can find us in Germany. Enjoy your meal. Safe travels!"

"Quick, Lew. Komm!"

"Why yes Lew, that is an excellent observation. Someone HAS been eating that carrot!"

"Santa always gets me what I want. Every time!"

One day later, Christmas lunch is ready! A delicious cassoulet with crispy pork belly and duck. YUMMO!

Chef out!

Oh Daddy, a chef's work is never done.

18 December 2015

The Coasters are in Cologne! 08/12/2015

Look who I found wundering around! Luckily we decided to see the Dom today as we didn't end up going back. We also had to sample the Dom Weihnachtsmarkt Reibekuchen. Rudolfplatz is still the best!

I think we all could get used this. Getting comfy on the couch...

And catching up on the latest in Lego products.

But enough lazing about. We've got more Weihnachtsmarkts to explore! Today we visited Heumarkt, with its ice skating rink and Bavarian/gnome theme. Are gnomes Bavarian? I'll have to go back to try the Reibekuchen, and a handmade bread with cheesy filling that I have never seen before. And to buy some more jewelry. 

After lunch at Malzmühle, an old fave from many years ago, we pushed on to the Lindt Schokolade Museum. And it's Pirate themed market. Nope, no Reibekuchen here either. I'm getting slack!

But we did have other important things to do. Like, learning how chocolate gets made.

And eating chocolate samples next to the chocolate model of the Dom.

After an easy morning and yummy Brötchen for lunch at home we decided to go for a walk in another of Köln's forests. This time we visited the Stadwald, a HUGE city forest with lakes, playgrounds, open areas and its own animal park. It is a beautiful space with lots of hidden treasures.

A rare family snap, thanks Kirsty!

Josh feeding the hungry deer. Safety first!

My super clever boys. Lewie "Don't worry, Dad. I've seen Josh do it and it doesn't look so hard"...

...and Josh "I've got this camera thing completely sorted. I don't even have to look"!

Aaawww. The Kirsty/ies together again!

I'm going to miss you THIS much! Please don't go!

Daytime safety Lew.

Nighttime safety Lew.

"Hay-oo!" used correctly. Either that, or he's calling someone to tell them about the number of holes in his boat.

Christmas craft 2015: name snowflakes 

and a felt Christmas tree.

We all loved having the Costas (or Coasters as Josh prefers) come and stay with us. We wish it had have been longer, but saying goodbye probably would have been harder. We hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Germany xxx

A new Christmas tradition and more Christmas markets 06/12/2015

Germans celebrate the tradition of St Nikolaus on the 6th December. Traditionally children would put their freshly cleaned shoes outside their front door on the evening on the 5th. If they had been good, St Nikolaus would leave them sweets, fruit and nuts, if they had not been so good, they would receive coal and sticks. But hey, if we're going to start a new tradition, it's not all going to be about the kids!

Our lovely upstairs Nachbären, Stephanie and Kai, invited Josh to make a gingerbread house. I think he enjoyed it. A lot!

Meanwhile, back home in Australia, my extended family got together for their annual Owens Christmas Party. So sad that we weren't able to join you guys this year. Maybe next year?

Another Weihnachtsmarkt, another Reibekuchen. So far, Rudolfplatz has the best!

Who is photo bombing whom?

Happiness is a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.

Another one of Lewie's words is "Hello". Except it doesn't mean "hello". It means "Hey Mum, there's a spot where I can put my hand or foot or head or eyes. You might call it a hole, or a hay-oo?"

Hold on Lew! 

Josh placing his order at our local Brauhaus, Em Övvje.